Lovely.  Bright.  Colorful…

No, I’m not talking about myself.  I’m describing a really good Bean Salad I made Monday.  Really simple and really easy. (No, I’m still not talking about myself!)

Yes, I know all about the controversy surrounding canned beans and have at least a half-dozen different dried bean varieties in the cupboard that I use regularly.  But I also have a half-dozen canned varieties.  They’re one of my guilty convenience-foods.  Everyone needs a couple, and I always rinse them well.

Bean salads, rice or grain salads, pasta salads, can all come together the same way.  The parts are all interchangeable.

Bean Salad

  • 4-5 cups cooked beans, rinsed and drained  (3 cans of different beans rinsed well and drained or your choice of dried beans that have been soaked, cooked, cooled, etc.)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • Fresh herbs, as available, chopped
  • handful of raisins
  • white balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Mix beans with celery, bell pepper, parsley, and fresh herbs, if using.  Drizzle with while balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Mix well.  Taste, and add S&P, if required.  Serve cold or at room temperature.

The beauty of salads like this is they are great for getting rid of those little leftover containers in the ‘fridge.  Any and all vegetables can be added.  Diced cooked meats, cheeses, a handful of chopped nuts… Really…  anything can go in.  And the beans can easily become rice, wheat berries, lentils, pasta… Whatever you have or feel like having.

Parsley and/or other fresh herbs are really good because they add a fresh pop and really do freshen up older leftovers.  And different vinegars can really change the complexion, as well.  The white balsamic is great for Spring and Summer – as are fruit vinegars or white wine vinegar.  Fall is perfect apple cider vinegar time, and Winter can handle a heavier balsamic.

It really is that simple!